Sometimes we have to live a little out of our comfort zone.
This may mean we have to give up something we love to try something else... which is why trying new things is so hard.
I have been using Erin Condren planners for the last three years. I absolutely love them and would recommend EC to anyone wanting to organize their life down to the months, weeks and days. I love the customizable colors, the layout and the extra pockets. The only downside is the cover starts to get a little loose and fall off towards the end of the year. You can easily put it back on, but after a while, it becomes a pain.
I don't spend a lot of time browsing Instagram but every time I do, I always discover a new product or something to try. This is probably why I don't get on Instagram very often... A few months back, I was on Instagram and came across a thread giving away a Heart of the Farm planner. Being that we live on and run a farm, I was instantly intrigued. As I furthered my research, I discovered that this planner was designed and sold by a fellow farm wife and entrepreneur. I loved her story and instantly wanted to give this planner a shot but I was afraid to give up my EC planner.
After sitting on it for a few weeks, I took the plunge and not only ordered myself one, but my mother in law as well. She's really involved in many organizations, helps out her parents and grand kids with appointments and works a different schedule each week. Not to mention she keeps us fed during the busy seasons on the farm. Normally, she keeps her schedule on a wall calendar at home and I thought it was time she try using a planner she can carry with her.
My planner arrived beautifully packaged like a gift. I wish I would have taken a picture of it! It was so beautifully packaged that I didn't have to wrap my mother in law's for her birthday. I just tucked a card underneath the ribbon.
Much like the EC planner, there are many features and list-making functions. Heart of the Farm caters toward the farm life with some unique features such as field meal planning, freezer inventory and a new farm scene photograph and quotes at the beginning of each month to remind us how lucky we are to live the lives that we do.
The planner is broken down by months which open up to a really wide view of each month.
There's plenty of room to write various events for each day.
Between each month, your weeks are broken down where you can add your top three priorities for each day and add details for your events. EC planners break down your days into Morning, Mid-day and Evening which I really liked for scheduling out my days. This may be a function I might miss as Heart of the Farm does not have this feature. However, maybe rather than focusing on creating a schedule, focusing on my top three priorities and just getting them done by the end of the day may relieve some stress.
One thing I've learned over the last few years is if I don't plan my meals for the week, then we end up eating junk. I've enjoyed sitting down and planning my meals the last few weeks and making sure I have all the ingredients needed for them. My husband has noticed we are eating more home-cooked, healthier meals and has even made a trip or two to the grocery store for me [without throwing a fit].
Heart of the Farm planner makes it easy to plan out my weekly meals providing sections for each week between each monthly tab.
Another farm friendly feature in Heart of the Farm is the Field Meals planner. My mother in law and I both kind of fly by the seat of our pants when it comes to meals during the busy seasons. This way, she and I can both sit down and plan out our meals prior to the season. We can compare schedules and notes too. If one will be out of town, we can plan accordingly.
A lot of farmers keep a pretty extensive freezer inventory. Since we have the capabilities of raising our own food or have tight connections with those that do, we put up a lot of food in bulk. Many families own more than one freezer.
I am not sure if I will use this function of the planner. I may make some plan ahead freezer meals and list them out and check them off as we eat them so I can remember what we have stored away. I could also inventory our beef cuts and keep track of when certain cuts are getting low or how long we've had the meat in the freezer.
I'm not going to lie - there are a few mystery items in the freezer that probably have been in there for 5 years and it's time for them to go. I like the idea of being able to look back and check to see when something was actually put in there.
We will see how this function goes..
I look forward to planning 2017 and seeing how my new Heart of the Farm planner works out!
I almost went 100 percent digital this year but I just couldn't bring myself to do it. After opening up this beautiful planner, I am so glad I didn't. I am however, going to keep a digital copy of important dates coming up so I can take a quick glance at my phone when I'm out and about.
What's your favorite way of keeping track of dates and planning your weeks? I'd love to hear about your system or favorite products!
Here's to 2017 trying to new things! Happy New Year to all of my readers and friends. Drop me a note and tell me what you've been up to - I know it's been a while since I've written.